Monday, 27 April 2009

One Year On...

We arrived in Melbourne exactly a year ago today. I have absolutely no idea how I should feel about that - perhaps, as I explained in my Lessons post, it will hit me by the end of the week and I'll write something more emotional and meaningful then than what I'm about to write . . .

The big question all year has been: do you feel settled yet? I wish people would leave off the 'yet'. Some of them look confused and / or disappointed when I say, emphatically, "No!" Most of those are Aussie and don't know me very well - they want me to feel settled because they love their country. It's nice - would the majority of Brits feel the same way if the situation was reversed, or would they say: "What the hell did you want to move here for?"

Just before the Big Scary Trip, The Australian and I had one of our Big Talks, at the airport, over a glass of red wine (my third - hey, I'm a nervous flyer). We generally try to avoid Big Talks because in the past they have led to either babies or emigrating. But at the airport I was babbling on about not wanting to put down roots here in case I can never pull them back out again. In short, I was saying to him: "You can't keep me here! I won't stay! I'll run away from home and never ever speak to you again, so ner!" He looked at me with the usual confusion that follows one of my outbursts and then said, "Don't worry, there's no forever going on here - I don't want to settle permanently any more than you do." (Those might not have been his exact words but, as I said, I was on my third glass.) "Ohhh!" I replied. "Great!" And then I rambled on a bit more about San Francisco, and other places I'd like to live like . . . er, San Francisco (can you hear me, Green Card people?).

But for now, we're here. And despite my almost-constant state of alarm at being an alien, here is a wonderful place, a great adventure. It's not Home - if there's one thing that 9 long-haul flights in 8 years has taught me it's that I'm very, very far from Home - but it's like a fantastically scary, exciting, hundreds-of-nights-long sleepover.

Over the next few days, look out for my growing list of Things I've Discovered Since I Got Here (not the actual title of the list. . . I will try to think of a better title - it only took me 54 tries for my novel so bear with me).

It seems fitting to end by telling you about the demise of my Ugg boots . . . they are no more. Well, just one Ugg died, in fact, but even Crazy Slipper Lady can't go out in her right Ugg if the left Ugg is at home in the corner, rejected for the simple crime of shrinking while being soaked because of . . . *a substance I can't name in case my son ever reads this blog*. My new boots are equally inappropriate for a suburban homemaker, and reveal that my inner teenage rock chick has woken up in time for Winter - okay, they're not that bad, but they *do* have three buckles on them. Let's rock!

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